Quilling is an art form that started during the Renaissance. Nuns and monks needed a way to decorate book covers and religious items, so they turned to a substance they had in abundance: paper.
The unique art form takes strips of paper and bends, twists, crimps, and curls them into different shapes. Then, those strips of paper are glued onto a surface to create a 3D, textured design.
Today, quilling is most often seen on greeting cards and formal invitations. But that’s not to say that this is the only use for the traditional practice. Russian-born artist Yulia Brodskaya is taking it to a whole new level and elevating simple techniques of glue and paper into high art.
Born in 1983, Yulia got her start as a graphic designer. But she soon saw that flat world of computer graphics wasn’t to her liking. In an effort to get back to basics, she began working with paper again and discovered a new love.
Paper always held a special fascination for me. I’ve tried many different methods and techniques of working with it until I found the way that has turned out to be ‘the one’ for me: now I draw with paper instead of on it.
Yulia starts with a detailed sketch of the finished product. This gives her a roadmap of where each individual strip of paper will go. She then folds and bends the paper how she needs it, and starts the process of gluing each one into place. It can take anywhere from a couple hours to weeks or more to create one completed piece. It all depends on how detailed the finish work has to be.
But whereas traditional quilling techniques relied on basic shapes, Yulia is manipulating the paper into more intricate designs in favor of creating even more vibrant and detailed works.
You can see more of Yulia’s artwork on her Facebook page.